Are you a lover of many types of food? Do you have a ravenous sweet tooth? Is a little spicy ethnic food enough to put a spring in your step? Are you curious about what to to do make these delicious dishes at home? Start cooking and put a stop to all that wondering. Use the following tips as a helpful guide to preparing great tasting meals.

Try to keep your spices and herbs in a dark, cool area of your kitchen. Humidity and heat, in addition to light, will cause spices and herbs to lose their flavor. A lot of the time, you can expect an herb or a space to retain flavor for about a year. Whole spices might retain their flavors for three to five years. The length of time that they stay fresh depends on how they are stored.

Even if you have screwed up in this way, there is a fix that will still let you use it right away. Start with about two tablespoons and add more until your sauce is at the desired consistency. Stir this into the sauce to thicken it up. Stir the sauce constantly as you slowly add the starch mixture until it reaches the desired thickness.

When you are going to cook, make certain all the knives are sharp. If you try to cut using a dull knife, you will have a lot of difficulty, and it can also a very dangerous. With a dull knife it is easy to slip and cut yourself because it is harder to slice the food, but a knife that is sharp makes much smoother cuts.

If you have a meal that is important, like for a date or your boss, try cooking one of your better dishes so that you are familiar with it and know it tastes good. You should never attempt to cook new or extravagant recipes you have not already tried when you are cooking for someone that you want to impress. This is a recipe for a stressful time in the kitchen.

Mushrooms absorb large amounts of water, and this excess water will go into whatever you are cooking with. You should use a clean, wet cloth and wipe the mushroom off by hand.

Skewers should always be soaked in cold water for a minimum of 30 minutes before they are used in cooking. This way, they won’t burn while cooking. You can keep food on the skewer when you use two parallel skewers instead of one.

Place unripe fruits in a plastic bags you have poked small holes into. Some fruits, like apples, produce ethylene gas as they ripen. Placing fruit in a perforated bag allows air circulation in the bag, retaining ethylene gas and keeping the fruit tasting good.

You should be as organized as possible when cooking to avoid burning food and other mistakes, which could be costly. Having all your kitchen tools handy and organized will help you turn out a good meal. Being unorganized when you are cooking can lead to you wasting a lot of money and food.

When using fresh herbs like parsley or dill, gather them into bunches and cut them with scissors. By using this technique you can chop many herbs in a short amount of time, and they will be much lighter and fluffier, without the wetness that you get when using a knife.

If you want your dishes to be more flavorful, try preparing your own stock. Make as much of it as you want and keep the excess in your freezer. If you do this, you will never be short of stock for soups, stews, and other such dishes. If you make your own stock, it will not be full of preservatives.

To make pasta sauce even more delicious, save some of the water you boiled the pasta in. Measure out one-fourth of a cup and place it to the side. When your sauce is also ready, add in the water before tossing or topping the pasta. The water contains starch from the pasta, and will make your sauce nice and creamy.

When chopping fresh herbs, sprinkle a small amount of salt on the cutting board. This gives the herbs a little flavor. Mostly, though, a little salt keeps the herbs from flying off the board. You don’t need to add extra salt to the food you are preparing. This will over-salt the dish. Some of the salt will adhere to the herbs and add flavor to your dish.

It is important to take proper care of wood cutting boards. Heat, moisture and other elements can cause warping and splitting of the wood. It is important to never immerse a wooden cutting board entirely in water. Using a sponge soaked in warm, soapy water is the best way to clean it. Use an oil specifically formulated for cutting boards to restore and protect wooden boards. Before you use the board, make sure it is dry.

By taking these hints on board, you’ll be that much closer to creating delicious and tasty meals that everyone will enjoy! Don’t be scared to take risks with your cooking, and try experimenting with different spices and flavors. You might even discover your next favorite meal through your experimentation! Think about these tips the next time you are in your kitchen and let your creativity and personal taste direct you to culinary success at home.

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